With Cases Remaining High, Public Health Encourages Safety Precautions Over July 4th Weekend

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With cases remaining high, and hospitalizations and the test positivity rate increasing over the past two weeks, Public Health encourages residents and businesses to use critical safety precautions in order to slow potential spread at Fourth of July weekend gatherings, which have an increased risk due to the highly infectious variants in LA County.

Omicron continues to be the dominant variant, accounting for 100% of the sequenced specimens this week and in recent past weeks. To date, Public Health detected a total of 167 positive, sequenced specimens of these two subvariants – 86 of BA.4 and 81 of BA.5. For the week ending June 4, these two subvariants combined accounted for 9.1 % of positive specimens, an increase over the 6.5% from the week prior, and 4.6% from the week before that.

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These BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron are of special concern because of their apparent ability to cause re-infections in people who were infected with other Omicron subvariants.

Despite these metrics stabilizing, the test positivity rate has now increased to 12.2%, nearly double from two weeks ago when the test positivity rate was 6.5%. This increase likely reflects the decrease in the volume of routine screening testing now that the school year has ended, meaning that a greater proportion of testing is among individuals with symptoms and/or exposures.   

Deaths, which typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks remain low and stable with an average of eight deaths reported per day this past week.

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